Liners Race Past Sparta, 6-4
The Inaugural Charlie Bowlby Invitational had to be cancelled due to all the rain but Phillipsburg would still host Sparta in a non league clash. After dropping three straight close games the Stateliners got back in the win column. They sent Dr. Rick to the hill to end the skid and he did just that. After the Spartans jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead and still had runners on 1st and 2nd with nobody out, Ricker worked out of the jam to hold the damage at one run. After Sailor Stem reached first via error, Staggy Bear crushed a ball to deep left center showing off his warning track power for the second straight game. Some confusion on the bases led to Staggy getting tagged out but not until after the game was tied. After a Buffalo walk Rich Shelman blasted a ball to deep left center as well, however, Nice Guy Nick was sniped before he got to first and had a 350 foot RBI single as the speedy Sunshine came around the bases. We never did find the shooter, but we suspect the shot came from the right field tree line. Bryce-aroni would follow with an single of his own. A wild pitch scored Helman and the Liners took a 3-1 lead. The pitchers would both settle down, still yielding baserunners but preventing scores. Chickie G led off the bottom of the fourth with a leadoff single. After an Alpha Mike fielder's choice, Wambold stole second and advanced to third on a fly ball from the Tree. Sailor Stem singled home Mikey to put Pburg up 4-1. The pesky Spartans go that run right back in the top of the 5th and a game that felt like was being dominated by Pburg was suddenly a two run ballgame. Fast forward to the bottom of the 6th when a semi wacky inning of baseball unfolded. After a groundout and a pair of walks by Farmer Ray and Salmon, Staggy loaded the bases with a ground ball turned error. After working a full count Buffy slayed the payoff pitched into right field for an RBI single. Rick Shelman then whipped up a 3-2 count of his own that turned into an RBI walk that would be a much needed insurance run. With Phillipsburg up 6-2 and a cruising Slick Rick on the mound the Garnet and Gray faithful felt comfortable. Sparta had other ideas as three straight singles combined with an error opened the top of the 7th and memories of a bad 7th inning from earlier in the week swept across the PAC. Bowlby even stopped eating his hot dog he was so nervous (speaking of hot dogs, shout out to Mrs. Gurneak for getting the concession stand together!). WIth the score now 6-4 QB1 came running in from center field to attempt to close the game. Flyout, strikeout, groundout, BALLGAME. Next up for the Liners is 6-3 Bridgewater on Tuesday afternoon.